Environmental Science & Ecology Staff Member Receives Grant from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Andie Graham (Department of Environmental Science and Ecology) received a $60,261 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct wetland and stream habitat assessments in areas where brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were recently confirmed.

Populations of wild brook trout in New York have declined due to habitat fragmentation and loss, climate change, and non-native species. In 2021, brook trout were confirmed in previously unstudied sections of the Black Creek watershed, however, the habitat is at risk of degradation by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). This two-year project will take place in spring-fed wetlands and streams in the Black Creek watershed in Genesee and Monroe Counties.  

In addition to habitat assessments, Graham and co-investigator Matt Altenritter will collect samples for brook trout genetic analysis. Genetic information is vital to combat inbreeding and genetic diversity loss of brook trout. The pair will also monitor brook trout movements through mark and recapture surveys and conduct spawning surveys to determine how fish are using the habitat.   

The work being conducted on this project is important to understanding brook trout habitat and potential breeding locations within the Black Creek watershed, which will aid in the conservation of this important species.

The grant will be administered by The Research Foundation for SUNY Brockport under the Scholarship, Research & Sponsored Programs Office.

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Laura Merkl, Director of Scholarship, Research & Sponsored Programs: lmerkl@brockport.edu

Posted: July 13, 2023